At Woody’s Bar & Grill in Dewey Beach, Tuesdays aren’t just another day when patrons can indulge in crab cakes and orange crushes—they’re also a chance for them to give back.
In November 2017, Kasey O’Brien, a bartender at Woody’s and a Sussex native, launched Donation Tuesdays, a recurring event in which bar tips are donated to local charities.
“The restaurant has an unbelievable reputation already—so many loyal regulars and customers,” O’Brien says. “Everyone has been really welcoming to the idea.”
Every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 100 percent of bar tips are donated to a charity. The charities change on a monthly basis and are selected by O’Brien and Woody’s owner Jimmy O’Conor.
The idea for Donation Tuesdays sprung from O’Brien’s first shift at Woody’s in May 2017. Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard had recently passed after being shot outside a Wawa in Bear. His death prompted Woody’s to donate a portion of their proceeds from the weekend to the fund established in his name. O’Brien wanted to find a way to replicate the success of that weekend; thus, Donation Tuesdays were born.
“There are amazing national charities, but we focus on a local connection,” O’Brien says.
She and O’Conor share close ties with many of the causes the restaurant contributes to. The first month the event raised money for the Cory Palmer Foundation, which is named after fallen Marine Recon sniper Cpl. Cory L. Palmer, who O’Brien grew up with. The second month benefitted the National Kidney Foundation of Delaware and Maryland, as O’Conor is a kidney recipient.
The goal for O’Brien and O’Conor is to identify causes and organizations that locals can see make a tangible impact in their community.
“As long as it’s successful and it’s something people come out for, we want to drive forward,” O’Brien says.
In April, Donation Tuesdays proceeds will support Attack Addiction, a nonprofit in Bear that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol and drug addiction. O’Brien hopes to link Woody’s mission in Dewey with “our friends up north” through the partnership.